It is almost impossible for me to believe that next week is Holy Week. I did not “give up” or “take up” anything for the season of Lent. But I spent a lot of time meditating on the story of Jesus’ disciples falling asleep in the garden when they were supposed to be praying with and for him on the eve of his death (see Matthew 26:36-40). I am not sure why this passage called me to it, but throughout this season I have been asking myself where God is calling me to be vigilant, but I am dozing off. Where am I being asked to support the work of the Gospel in the face of terror, pain and death, and I am not understanding or acting into the urgency? What is God calling me to be alert to? How can I stay alert, and keep my fellow disciples awake as well? These questions have challenged me a lot, and made me grateful all over again for the Easter message which both calls me to alertness, and loves me even when I’m found snoozing under a tree!
Update: Bill C-262
Photo courtesy Sara Stratton
This Bill on adopting and implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is still before the Senate. March 20-21, General Secretary, Michael Thompson and Indigenous member of the All My Relations Group of the Diocese of Ottawa, Irene Barbeau took part in an ecumenical visit to the Senate in support of Bill C-262. The United Church of Canada, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers), Mennonite Central Committee (Canada), and The Presbyterian Church in Canada were also represented in the delegation. We had hoped that it would already have gone from the Senate to the committee by now, and the window of time in which it can pass is becoming smaller every day. Even if you have already done so, would you take a few minutes to call and/or write senators, imploring them to get this passed? It has come too far to fail!
UPDATE: Conservatives are filibustering to prevent the Indigenous Rights Act from going to committee. Please email Senator Don Plett (Opposition Whip) and demand that Conservative Senators back down from blocking due process (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Self-Determination Backgrounder Package
One of my colleagues is counting down the days to General Synod 2019 in Vancouver, and we are now in the double digits! Did you know that one of the major pieces of work before General Synod will be resolutions on Indigenous self-determination? Maybe you have been part of this movement for decades, maybe you have never heard of it! That’s okay - I get asked about it a lot. In response to this, I will be putting together a backgrounder package on Indigenous self-determination - particularly geared towards non-Indigenous Synod delegates who wish to go into the Synod with a better understanding of the history of this movement, its emergence and reality today, and the resolutions before the Synod. It will include documents produced by the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) and Indigenous Ministries, as well as news articles and the resolutions. Even though it is geared towards delegates, I will make sure it is made available through the newsletter so that you can also use it inform yourselves, and help others to understand as well. If there is a specific question you hope this packet will answer, please let me know so that I can track down answers and make it as informative as possible!
An Opportunity to Walk Together
Bishop Isaiah (Larry) Beardy addresses the Sacred Circle of the Northern Manitoba Area Mission of Mishamikoweesh.
Speaking of self-determination, in December I expressed how honoured I was to be invited by Bishop Isaiah Larry Beardy to the first Sacred Circle for the Northern Manitoba Area Mission of Mishamikoweesh. The Council of the North recently published a great interview with Bishop Isaiah, called New Beginnings which I heartily encourage you to read. I was particularly stirred by the last line of the interview which reads:
Q. Is there anything else you would like the rest of the church to know about the direction of the Northern Manitoba Area Mission?
A. We need prayers and we need your support. Our budget is only $300,000 a year. We need support to provide stipends for our 15 active clergy, and we need support for training new ordained and lay ministers.
If there is any parish, in any diocese, that is willing to partner with Northern Manitoba Area Mission, we are willing to share ministry and exchange visits with you.
Please prayerfully consider this invitation to walk together in partnership. My visit to Tataskweyak in December introduced me to an incredible ministry of joy and pain, laughter and tears, inspiration and the prophetic manifestation of the Gospel. This is a profound opportunity to journey together in a way that calls to the presence of Christ in one another. Let me know if you would like to chat about this, or be in contact with Bishop Isaiah directly. You can also follow his ministry on Facebook here.
The woes of winter travel are (almost?) over, so it is time to hit the road again. Here are some events coming up in my calendar. If you are in any of these places, I would be honoured to meet you!
April 29-May 2 – Diocese of Caledonia Clergy Conference
May 5-6 – Diocese of Montreal – Convocation and Public Talk
May 13-19 – Diocese of Central Newfoundland – parish visits and events
May 23-25 – Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI – Diocesan Synod
As always, please let me know what you are up to, and feel free to reach out if you need some help in getting started!